What to be: Rabbit or Turtle?

by Thapelo Letsoela

My wish is to live in a universe where the turtle always wins, not only in the story but in actual reality. “The turtle once challenged a rabbit to have a race with him as he used to make fun of his slowness. The rabbit accepted the challenge. The race started, the rabbit ran very fast. The turtle took its time and was left far behind. The rabbit stopped to take rest under a tree. He fell asleep. The turtle passed him and reached the winning post. The rabbit woke up and ran as fast as he could but couldn’t win as the turtle had already reached the finish line first.” Have we failed to take the moral of the story and apply it to our own lives? We know the turtle won, but did we really believe it could win? Does it take us one step at a time to get to that hectic deadline?

We’ve transformed from GPRS to LTE networks; from letters to emails and WhatsApp; from Pentium processor speed to Intel core. According to British psychologist, Dr. Richard Wiseman, the overall pace of life has increased by 10% worldwide since the mid-90s. Everything is evolving, everything is getting faster and faster. As humans we always want to keep up, always want to be as fast as the next and new technology, be as quick as the fastest car. But are we capable?

What exactly are we in such a hurry for? Living in the 21st century isn’t easy and as slow as things were in earlier centuries, are we really capable of living healthily in the fast-pace life we’ve created today? There’s a lot that needs to be done in our personal lives, families and professional lives. We have jobs to attend to and social lives we desperately want to entertain. All these take our time. Are we capable of trying to balance all these areas of our lives and in so doing feel like we are living with some sense of integrity and meaning?

Perhaps we need to seriously consider taking a moment to slow down, go from gear five to gear three – or even neutral – so that we can find space to be alone, to think, to reflect on what has happened and in what direction our lives may be moving. The big challenge is to have the courage to stop going with the flow, to get out of the fast lane, to slow down. Give the turtle a chance. And remember, a turtle can live for up to 150 years – and it doesn’t jog or run! It always lives according to its capability.


Mr Thapelo Letsoela
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